Thoughts

Questions

This is Mary. I had the opportunity to sit down with Nancy yesterday and have a long talk with her about everything that is happening, things she is thinking and feeling, and about questions we all have about everything. I am not the best at translating my thoughts into words, and I know I get too wordy most of the time, so just bear with me! Also, these are MY thoughts, (combined with Nancy’s), so it my own questioning and deficiency of faith that I am revealing here… First and foremost, where is Pat? We believe in the spirit, in

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Great Viewpoint!

Thank you, Kathleen Petitjean, for your inspiring Viewpoint in today’s South Bend Tribune!  Your passion for what is right is clearly portrayed.  Let’s hope our elected officials, policemen, cyclists, and motorists read it carefully! See Kathleen’s article here. I want so badly for our community to change for the better regarding bicycle safety.  Since Patrick’s death I have heard countless others express their desires to cycle to work, school, the store, or library, but they DON’T.  It’s not safe out there–YET. Nancy

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Pain…Disbelief…Shock

Oh my God!  Patrick died!  Oh, God, the pain is unbearable!!  Why is it still so intense?!  I am in utter disbelief!  I am not waking *up from* a nightmare.  I am slowly waking *into* a nightmare!!  Each day, the realization of my Patrick’s death becomes more literal–it is becoming more real. The pain now is back to the initial, physical throes of grief.  I can’t breathe, I throw up, I can’t eat, I want to stop, I want to shrivel up.  My body shakes uncontrollably, I get strong heat, searing flashes, I get shivery cold.  My chest is compressed

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I’m reading…

All of you wonderful readers, I am reading your comments and emails.  I so feel your genuine concern.  I’m not alone, all of you are holding me up.  My mother and sisters are my tangible lifeline.  They’re setting up grief counseling for me and the kids. I am aware of the stages or cycles of grieving and I know there’s no way around them.  I’m just blown away by the pure intensity and “newness” of the pain each day.  It’s not like a general depression; each day, each minute unfolds a deeper pain or a shockingly new variation on the

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My Precious Sister

I just wanted to say a few words about my sweet little sister, Nancy. I love her so very much, no one can understand the bond with, and love I have for Nancy. I love all of my sisters and brothers equally, but Nancy has been extra special to me. After my husband died, I felt I could not go on, I could not take care of my boys, I just couldn’t face my life, or living in general. She took care of my children for me, listened to me, came to my rescue many times, researched ways to help

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Memorial Bike Ride for Pete Kaczor Today

Many, many people have since expressed their desires to cycle more frequently but are afraid to do so due to the current unsafe road environment in Michiana. Not long ago (Aug. 28), another young Michiana family man, Pete Kaczor, was killed while riding his bike, training for a triathlon.  Community awareness of the bike safety issues must remain in the forefront!  Outpost Sports is hosting a family-friendly bike ride in  memorial to Pete. I urge anyone who cares about bicycle safety to attend this ride!  (please spread the news!): Peter Kaczor Memorial Ride (post from BikeMichiana.org) Posted by Paul Taylor on

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Pete Kaczor’s Ride

My family, friends, and I attended Pete Kaczor’s Memorial Bike Ride this evening.  I was able to meet some of Pete’s family and friends and learn more of what a wonderful man Pete was.  I can’t believe I was doing this again so soon after Pat’s memorial ride! I was glad to see the media covering the ride: WNDU story and video, reporter Sarah Platt.My 14-year-old Daniel spoke in this video.  He had a lot to say, but of course it was edited and shortened.  Daniel has been doing some serious thinking lately about all the issues surrounding his Papa’s

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My Dream

This is Laura.  I’m 8.  I had a dream with Papa in it this morning.  It was a dream in my dream where Tommy, all my cousins, and I were fighting over taffy, and I went back in the bedroom, and I saw Papa just sitting on the bed and Mama was still sleeping.  Then, the phone rang so she woke up and left to answer it. Papa, Tommy, and I were all cuddling in the bed. While I was cuddling, I felt Papa’s shoulder–just rubbing it lightly.  Then Papa reached up his other arm, but his hand was off,

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Items Left Behind

The last couple days I’ve been feeling like I’ve gained some footing in the sucking mud pit I was in for the last week or two.  My entire body, mind, and spirit have been whirling in a tornado of shaken beliefs, thoughts, and ideas. For the most part, I’ve only hurriedly gone through Pat’s material belongings.  They are all around me, and I feel as though searching through them will give me some last undiscovered remnant of him.  Looking through them still gives me a sense that I’m invading his privacy.  Also, I’m a bit frightened I’ll find something too

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Dreams

Hi, I’m Joey.  I’m 12 years old and I wanted to write something about my Papa.  Deep breaths. Exhale loudly. Quiet laughter. In. Out.  What do I see when I think about Papa? Him. I picture Papa with his shirt off outside just smiling. He’s teaching me to roller blade. Just the other day, I had a dream. I had woke up in the morning and was just lying in bed. All of a sudden the dream came to me: Mama and I were driving on an unfamiliar road. It was all foggy and drizzly out. We passed Papa’s truck

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It’s raining….It’s pouring

Since Patrick’s accident, Michiana has endured some of the most beautiful summer weather I’ve ever noticed.  This week it started raining and didn’t stop until it reached record rainfall levels this weekend. The last few months my family’s life has had that metaphorical record rainfall. I think it started early this summer when the mama robin built her nest on the ledge of my bedroom window, right above my bed.  My family watched the nest daily.  She laid her eggs, the featherless helpless babies hatched, the mama and papa robin took turns feeding them as they grew, their cheeping ever-present

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It’s Raining…It’s Pouring

Since Patrick’s accident, Michiana has experienced some of the most beautiful summer weather I’ve ever noticed.  This week it started raining and didn’t stop until it reached record rainfall levels this weekend. The last few months my family’s life has had that metaphorical record rainfall–we’ve seen pets die, Pat die, Carston die.  A few weeks ago a tiny baby squirrel fell from his tree nest at Joey’s feet and died after several long hours of our constant nurturing vigilance. Since Patrick’s death, my father’s health has deteriorated before our eyes.  The kids and I live with my mom and dad. 

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Next Week’s Canoe/Kayak Race Dedicated to Patrick

Our paddling friend Sonja Gilman is dedicating her 5th annual St. Joseph River Canoe/Kayak Race to Patrick. Date/Time: Saturday, September 27th, 2008. Race starts at 10:00 A.M. Registration begins at 8:30 A.M. Place: Registration and Race start at the boat ramp across from Memorial Park off Northside Blvd near IUSB in South Bend, IN. Race Event: 7.2 miles along the South Bend – Mishawaka Riverwalk. Race starts at Memorial Park and proceeds downstream past the Notre Dame Rowing Club to Howard Park. The turn around is approximately 1.5 miles down stream to the walking bridge. Racers will paddle back upstream

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Shells and Signs

The last few weeks I have been in a searching mode.  I’m vulnerable.  I’m open to all new thoughts, beliefs, ideas, awarenesses.  I plead for direct, absolute, indisputable answers, although I know this grief journey will only lead me back to the ambiguity of life. Lyrical messages, natural metaphors, dreams, coincidences, and signs abound teasingly.  Teasingly, because the messages come to me strongly, yet my mind grapples with them until they’re virtually neutralized. Grief has opened my soul rawly to the world, nature, love, and the abyss of unknowing. I have been changed–I am changing. I feel as though I’m

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Powerful Message/Video

We wanted everyone to have a chance to check this out. This is a music video by the band  “Simple Plan” – they have put together a video that is very powerful and effective in showing the impact upon an entire family when one person is hit and killed by a drunk driver. Our entire family and everyone who loves Pat was also hit and thrown at the instant Pat was hit by a drunk driver. All of our lives have been strongly shaken and thrown into emotional and physical turmoil beginning with the initial impact. This video is very

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Sentencing

Yesterday was Shane McGee’s sentencing.  I have been silent (on this blog) on my opinions about my husband’s killer, but my conscience and soul have been grappling with the issue since the moment I learned Patrick was hit. I have a lot I want to write about on this issue, because I feel it’s important not only for me to process it all personally–I also want our community that has lost Patrick Sawyer to process through this loss with me. This past week has been extremely powerful for me and my family going through a restorative justice process.  As I

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Restorative Justice

This is Mary – I am NOT good at communicating my ideas, so please forgive me if this is not very clear – I will try to get my thoughts across on this concept. We were involved last Monday, 9/29/08 in a meeting involving Shane McGee, and a lawyer who specializes in mediating between victims and offenders, in order to promote Restorative Justice. It was a very enlightening meeting. Nancy and I, and some other family members, are all exploring this concept of Restorative Justice, or sometimes called “restorative practices”. I’m only beginning to learn what this means, and I

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Danny’s Victim Impact Statement

Danny’s Victim Impact Statement

Dear Judge Chamblee, It is impossible to truly describe the devastation that I felt when I heard the news that my father had died from this tragic accident. With his death I have lost so much, I feel as though I have lost an entire half of my past, but what hurts even more is that I have lost such a large piece of my future as well. The person whose fault this is, the person who has caused such great devastation and grief is Shane Ryan McGee whose idiotic decisions have led to this horrible event. My father meant

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